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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Weekly Digest

The following front-page stories received the most comments during the preceding week.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott broke with President Donald Trump on Friday and rejected calls to arm teachers with guns to prevent school massacres. "I disagree with arming teachers," Scott said. "My focus is on bringing in law enforcement. I think you need to have individuals who are trained, well trained." Scott also defied the National Rifle Association by unveiling a sweeping plan to boost school security that would bar "violent or mentally ill" people from purchasing weapons, prohibit persons under the age of 21 from buying guns, and outlaw so-called bump stocks that make it possible for semi-automatic weapons to fire faster.


Wired: For some time, there has been a conflation of issues -- the hacking and leaking of illegally obtained information versus propaganda and disinformation; cyber-security issues and the hacking of elections systems versus information operations and information warfare; paid advertising versus coercive messaging or psychological operations -- when discussing "Russian meddling" in the 2016 US elections. The refrain has become: "There is no evidence that Russian efforts changed any votes." But the bombshell 37-page indictment issued Friday by Robert Mueller against Russia's Internet Research Agency and its leadership and affiliates provides considerable detail on the Russian information warfare targeting the American public during the elections. And this information makes it increasingly difficult to say that the Kremlin's effort to impact the American mind did not succeed. read more


A Las Vegas concert. An Orlando night club. An elementary school in Newtown, Conn. A Texas church. And now a high school in Parkland, Fla. America's most popular weapon was there for all of them. AR-15-style rifles have increasingly appeared in American mass shootings, including the deadliest high school shooting in the nation's modern history at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Wednesday. ... The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said the AR-15, a civilian model of the military's M-16, also cited the weapon's versatility in evaluating its popularity. "They're accurate and they can basically shoot as quickly as you can pull the trigger," according to a campaign statement.


To those who say it's too soon after the school massacre to talk about politics and gun control, the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High see your point. "We can respect that. We've lost people. It's important to mourn," junior Cameron Kasky said Sunday. "Here's a time to talk about gun control: March 24. My message for the people in office is: You're either with us or against us. We are losing our lives while the adults are playing around." Be forewarned: They're coming for the National Rifle Association and any politician who takes money from the gun lobbyist, Kasky and his classmates said. The NRA did not immediately return CNN's call seeking comment.


Billy Graham, the famed televangelist who became known as "America's Pastor," has died at the age of 99, MSNBC and CBS reported. Born in 1918 in Charlotte, North Carolina, William Franklin Graham Jr. was the oldest of the four children of William and Morrow Graham. He was raised on a dairy farm, and little in his childhood suggested he would become a world-renowned preacher. Then at 16, Graham attended a series of revival meetings run by outspoken evangelist Mordecai Ham. The two months he spent listening to Ham's sermons on sin sparked a spiritual awakening in Graham and prompted him to enroll at Bob Jones College. When the conservative Christian school's strict doctrine didn't align with his personal beliefs, he transferred to the Florida Bible Institute (now Trinity College of Florida) and joined a Southern Baptist Convention church. He was ordained in 1939.


When Coral Springs police officers arrived at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14 in the midst of the school shooting crisis, many officers were surprised to find not only that Broward County Sheriff's Deputy Scot Peterson, the armed school resource officer, had not entered the building, but that three other Broward County Sheriff's deputies were also outside the school and had not entered, Coral Springs sources tell CNN. The deputies had their pistols drawn and were behind their vehicles, the sources said, and not one of them had gone into the school. read more


White nationalist provocateurs, a pair of fake news sites, an army of Twitter bots and other cyber tricks helped derail Democratic Senator Al Franken last year, new research shows. While everyone has been focused on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election to support Donald Trump, the Franken takedown originated in -- and was propelled by -- a strategic online campaign with digital tentacles reaching to, of all places, Japan. Analysts have now mapped out how Hooters pinup girl and lad-mag model Leeann Tweeden's initial accusation against Franken became effective propaganda after right-wing black ops master Roger Stone first hinted at the allegation. A pair of Japan-based websites, created the day before Tweeden came forward, and a swarm of related Twitter bots made the Tweeden story go viral and then weaponized a liberal writer's criticism of Franken. read more


US President Donald Trump has said arming teachers could prevent school shootings like that which left 17 people dead last week in Florida. A staff member with a gun could end an attack "very quickly," he said. Trump floated the proposal as emotional survivors of the February 14 massacre implored him to make sure it never happens again. The Republican president also backed calls for improved background checks on gun buyers. Other survivors meanwhile lobbied Florida lawmakers on gun control. The US president also endorsed a proposal long championed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), a powerful gun lobby group. "If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms," he said, "they could very well end the attack very quickly." read more


A school superintendent near Houston said his district plans to suspend any student who takes part in classroom walkouts as a form of protest over gun violence after last week's school massacre in Florida. "Needville ISD will not allow a student demonstration during school hours for any type of protest or awareness," Superintendent Curtis Rhodes, of Needville, Texas, wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post, threatening a three-day suspension. "Life is all about choices and every choice has a consequence whether it be positive or negative. We will discipline no matter if it is one, fifty, or five hundred students involved." read more


As I opened the CT scan last week to read the next case, I was baffled. The history simply read "gunshot wound." I have been a radiologist in one of the busiest trauma centers in the nation for 13 years, and have diagnosed thousands of handgun injuries to the brain, lung, liver, spleen, bowel, and other vital organs. I thought that I knew all that I needed to know about gunshot wounds, but the specific pattern of injury on my computer screen was one that I had seen only once before. In a typical handgun injury that I diagnose almost daily, a bullet leaves a laceration through an organ like the liver. To a radiologist, it appears as a linear, thin, grey bullet track through the organ. There may be bleeding and some bullet fragments. read more


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